PM5314: On Evidence

Etymology:

  • "evidence" and "evident" in Online Etymology Dictionary; Wiktionary
  • The root meaning in the Latin is "to see" - "evidence" is how we see something. It is how we know something is true.

Hebrews 11:1 - "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ("seeing the unseen")

Faith is evidence. Faith is a way we know things are true.

Define evidence

Etymologically, the English word evidence ultimately derives from the Latin phrase ex videns, meaning from seeing. So evidence is any way in which we can see that something is so — however, the seeing is metaphorical, and includes ways of acquiring knowledge which do not involve sight at all.

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) states "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Some interpret this passage as biblical endorsement for the idea that faith is evidence, that faith is a type of evidence. Others by contrast see faith and evidence as opposites, faith as being what you have when you don't have any evidence. The later view is that of those who reject faith, such as atheists; however, some fideists, such as those influenced by Søren Kierkegaard, would endorse the same dichotomy.

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